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 Christening Blog   
Friday, May 29 2015

How To Find Baby Christening Gifts On A Budget

By: John Smith

Over the last few years, the global banking crisis has hit everyone hard and pinching the pennies is an unfortunate necessity for most of us. At the same time we are trying to stay afloat in our capitalist culture where kids always seem to want the next big super toy and even friends of our own ages are impressed by labels and tags. In times like these, finding the perfect presents can be an incredibly stressful ordeal, whether buying for a birthday, wedding or christening. However, with the increasing availability of personalized presents and charming customized gifts, whether you are opting for a christening gift for the new baby itself or if you are planning a surprise treat for the proud parents, you are sure to find great baby christening gifts on a budget.

A fantastic way of keeping spending down is also to create your own presents. Handmade cards are great gift ideas as they are personalized for the recipient themselves and show that you have put a lot of thought and time into celebrating the occasion. Although many people are quite happy to stick and glue a fantastic design for their friends, those who aren't so creative and those who want a more professional style of card often opt for personalizing cards with photos and computerized images. This is an incredibly easy process and for christenings it is a great way to give the child a real keepsake. Some choose a nice photo of the baby from after the birth whilst some create cards with the proud parents on or with a concertina of photos.

Personalized photo presents also come in other forms which are perfect for baby christening gifts. Engraved photo albums can be given with a few cute pictures of the newborn's first photos and left blank for subsequent photos, or they can be filled with photos of the baby's relatives and family friends. Photo frames can be engraved with personalized messages, song lyrics or a line from a poem for a long-term memento. For fun photo related gifts, many people are choosing to take some snaps to make anything from customized t-shirts to special balloons to personalized mouse mats. Complimentary gifts for the new parents can also be made for a sweet family set of such personalized objects.

Similarly, creating your own presents for the new nursery is a nice idea. A simple but effective gift is baby bunting. This is made by sewing triangles of fabric to a long stretch of fabric; this can then be hung across the nursery either as a temporary celebratory gift, or if made with substantial tasteful textures, as a permanent addition to the room. Although this does take time and effort to make, materials are very affordable and it will jazz up a plain crib. Another popular present is also having the child's name painted or printed onto a banner or door sign. Again, this can be created online and printed off with photos or can be handmade if you are a creative type. Keepsakes and home accessories such as engraved paperweights and carriage clocks also make a nice addition to a nursery, as do personalized money boxes. Although many people may think of silver straight away and equate that to being expensive, often smaller versions or ceramic versions are just as stunning but are less likely to break the piggy bank.

Other traditional gifts such as personalized christening plates or even a personalized set of authentic coins need not be expensive if ordered through the appropriate channels. A small engraved trinket box has a multitude of uses - although often used for holding baby teeth, baby's first curl or even baby's first earrings - but need not cost more than a rather affordable twenty pounds. This is also a gift which can be used right through to the baby's later years. For more timely gifts, cute decorative baby rattles, crib mobiles and even bedding and clothing can also be customized to include embroidery of the baby's name. Miniature toys can also be personalized; for example some teddy bears can be altered to include a "voice box" with a fun customized message.

Whether you have a budget of five or twenty pounds, with the variety of affordable and high-quality personalized gifts on the market - ranging from simple photo christening cards to customized home accessories - there is bound to be a christening gift to suit both the baby and your budget.

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Wednesday, May 20 2015

Blessings or Thanksgivings

Church blessings or thanksgivings are an ideal alternative to a christening if you would like your child to be welcomed into the Christian church but don't want the full commitment of baptism. Clergy in some denominations are now happy to perform blessings for babies possibly followed by a baptism when the child is old enough to understand what it means.

A blessing usually takes place as part of a main church service. The child, family and any godparents go to the front of the church and are asked to say a few words, while the church promises to help the family look after the child. Some churches are happy to let parents write parts of the blessing themselves.

In a thanksgiving service, thanks are given for the gift of the child and no blessing or baptism is carried out. Parents are not asked to profess their faith but prayers are given. As with a blessing, godparents are optional.

Naming Ceremonies
Naming ceremonies are secular (non-religious) ceremonies. As with weddings, a number of venues nationwide are able to hold a naming ceremony to welcome your new child.

It's entirely up to you as to how you would like the ceremony to be organized but they usually last about 20 minutes. You can lead the ceremony yourself or a trained 'celebrant', who can help you to prepare the ceremony and lead it on the day. During the ceremony, parents state their love and commitment to their child and declare hopes for their future. You can choose to read poetry, with music playing in the background.

Rather than godparents, whose traditional role is to help guide the child in a Christian life, 'supporting adults' or 'mentors' (who may be friends or family) just need to say that they will be there for the child as he or she grows up and throughout their life in whatever way is needed.

The ceremony, which can be conducted by you or a celebrant, may include an introduction and welcome followed by a reading by you or one of the supporting adults. This is followed by the naming of the child and the parents' promise and promises of the supporting adults to pledge love and support for the child's future.

Naming ceremonies are not legally binding and do not have any legal status, although you may be presented with a record of the ceremony as a token of the day.
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Sunday, May 10 2015

History of Godfathers

The first step to understanding your duties as a godfather is to become familiar with the history of the position. The origin of godparents is distinctly religious. As infant baptism took hold in early Christianity, there was a need for someone to step in as a sponsor and provide the required confession of faith before baptism. In the beginning, biological parents often took on this role, but the Council of Munich in 813 required natural parents to pick other people to be godparents. In addition to sponsoring the child’s christening, the godfather was charged with the duty of overseeing the child’s spiritual instruction.

As with many Christian traditions, the role of godfathers went through some upheaval during the Reformation. Many Protestant sects continued with the practice but loosened up a bit on the pre-Reformation requirements.  The Roman Catholic Church has pretty much maintained the status quo on godfathers up until the present day. In order to be godfather in Catholicism, a man must be a confirmed Catholic in good standing and not be the natural parent of the child.

The concept of godfatherhood isn’t exclusively Christian. In Judaism, parents often pick a man to be the sandek at their child’s bris. The sandek holds the baby boy on a pillow while he is circumcised by the mohel. According to Jewish custom, the role of sandek is given to a single Jewish male, usually a close family member or some other man who is a good example of the faith. Also tradition dictates that a man can not serve as a sandek more than once. Like the Christian godfather, sandeks also have a responsibility to help guide the child’s spiritual upbringing.

Godfathers Today

For many people today, the spiritual aspect of being a godfather is still very important. But as Western society has become more secular, many families have held on to the tradition of naming godparents for their children, but have expanded the responsibilities beyond taking part in religious ceremonies or in the child’s spiritual development. For example, some parents ask that the godfather be a special mentor for their child or to foster their kids if they die. Most parents pick a sibling or close cousin to be the godfather. But it’s now not uncommon for a good friend to be selected.

Whether your role as a godfather is the traditional religious one or a more secular one, being asked to be a godfather is a big honor. By asking you to be a godfather, the parents are showing that you’re a man they can trust to help raise their child. Let’s take a look at a few tips on how to be the kind of godfather a kid will feel lucky to have.
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Posted by: AT 06:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 07 2015

Baby Dedication

A Baby Dedication is a ceremony in which believing parents, and sometimes entire families, make a commitment before the Lord to submit a child to God's will and to raise that child according to God's Word and God's ways.

Responsibilities Involved in Baby Dedication

Christian parents who dedicate a child are making a promise to the Lord to do everything within their power to raise the child in a godly way, prayerfully until he or she can make a decision on his or her own to follow God. Parents who make this vow of commitment are instructed to raise the child in the ways of God, and not according to their own ways. Some of the responsibilities include teaching and training the child in God's Word, demonstrating an example of godliness, disciplining according to God's ways, and praying earnestly for the child.

An Example of Baby Dedication in Scripture

And she (Hannah) made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head." 1 Samuel 1:11 (NIV)

When God answered Hannah's prayer by giving her a son, she remembered her vow:

"As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD. I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there. 1 Samuel 1:26-28 (NIV)
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Monday, May 04 2015

How to Remove Yellow From an Aged Christening Dress

By Sarah Emerald, eHow Contributor

Using a solution of hydrogen peroxide to rinse your vintage christening dress will help remove the yellowing without damaging the fabric. Yellowing weakens fabric, so handle your dress with care and avoid placing in the washing machine or dry-cleaning it. Once the yellow is gone, prevent it from returning by storing the dress in a dark, dry area away from daily sunlight or moisture. Wrap the dress in acid-free tissue paper to further protect it and keep it safe until the next generation is ready to use it.

1 Fill the kitchen sink with warm water. Add 2 cups hydrogen peroxide. You can find peroxide at a drugstore.

2 Stir the water and peroxide with a wooden spoon to blend, and then immerse the dress in the sink.

3 Use the wooden spoon to press all portions of the dress under the water. Soak for a minimum of one hour.

4 Drain the sink. Press the dress gently against the side of the sink to remove as much water as possible.

5 Wrap the dress in a white towel to absorb more water. Hang the dress on a clothesline using clothespins. Hang the dress in direct, bright sunlight and leave it there to dry. Remove the dress and store or use as desired.

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Saturday, May 02 2015

Christening Presents From The Godparents

By: John Smith

Christenings are a baptism of a new baby and they're a rite of passage for a lot of Christian families. They're also a chance for people to gather around and meet the new arrival! The reason that forenames are often called 'Christian' names is because it's at a christening that many families officially name their baby, even if they have already filled out and signed the birth certificate and other documents months prior to the actual event!

If you're attending a christening soon you might be on the lookout for christening gifts and if you're lucky enough to be the child's godparent then you'll definitely be searching for something special.

Being a Godparent
Traditionally there are lots of roles involved in being a godparent, first and foremost you're a spiritual adviser and there to support the child should anything happen to their birth parents. Godparents are also supposed to be close to the baby as it grows and nurture a relationship with him or her so that he or she is well looked after. For many years it was customary for the godparents to present the christened child with a silver spoon which is where the saying: 'born with a silver spoon in your mouth' comes from.

These days, however there's a wide range of christening gifts presented to babies by their godparents. Some of them are traditional and religiously significant and others are simply sentimental or useful. The kind of godparent you intend to be will largely determine the type of christening gifts you choose for your godson or daughter. There is no shortage of options though! Some godparents even like to set up small savings accounts for the baby and put a little money in it yearly to help pay for treats or study later in life. There's no need to go to that much trouble though and a small token to show that you care about the child and will offer it plenty of support and affection is more than enough.

Choosing Gifts
When you hand over christening gifts to the parents of the child, those presents say something about how you feel. They tell a story about your commitment, joy or affection. That means whatever you choose will have a resonating and lasting meaning. Some christening gifts stay with the child their whole life and are truly appreciated and associated with the growing child's spirituality or with the love that you offer them as a relative or friend of the family.

In fact, perhaps you yourself still have christening gifts of your own or know someone who does. Choose gifts that you know will stand the test of time and try to consider three factors, the appearance of the gift (because it might be on display), the personal nature of the gift (personalized is better!) and the functionality of it. The more useful a present is, generally, the greater the gift! Useful christening gifts will get used by the child directly that's a good thing.

Keepsakes and Charms
Speaking of elegant and sentimental christening gifts, it's hard to beat engraved presents. Beautiful little charms and trinket boxes with heartfelt messages etched in to them are perfect. There are even specially made christening mementos available which are made of glass and feature the word 'christening' along with images of butterflies or Christian crosses. They look great in a bedroom or displayed on a mantel piece. For a subtly religious gift which is also useful, a Noah's ark money box which is silver plated and engraved with any message up to 50 characters long is a smart choice. It can also help to teach the growing child about saving up money and being prudent about cash, which, in the current economic downturn would seem to be a good principle to set from birth!

Functional Presents
For functional christening gifts it can be wise to opt for traditional plates that have the name of the child incorporated in to their design. They can be personalized with the date of the event and used daily by the child to eat from making them useful as well as thoughtful and sentimental. Sticking with the traditional concept of the silver spoon, cutlery can also make very good christening gifts. There are even sets made especially for small hands to get to grips with!

Bibs and baby blankets are functional too and baby blankets can be bought embroidered with a Christian cross and detailed with the date of the celebration and the full name of the child. With useful christening gifts the main thing to look out for is that personal touch keeping the gift elegant and sentimental.

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